Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018
Tifton, Georgia
Tifton Grapevine

In the days just before Hurricane Michael hit Tifton , folks at the Tift County Animal Shelter weren't sure what they were going to do. A massive storm was coming, and the shelter was overflowing with dogs and cats .

Dogs were doubled in the kennels , separated by "guillotine doors." Volunteers with Friends of Tift County Animal Shelter decided to contact New Hope Pet Rescue , a volunteer organization in Laingsburg, Mich. , that has aided the Tift shelter many times before.

"We were hoping maybe they could help; but considering they had made two trips from Michigan to our shelter in the past eight weeks , we weren’t sure how much room they had since they are solely foster based ," says Leah Robbins and Candice Hernandez , who lead the Tift animal shelter friends organization.

The local group was shocked when Denise Rose , founder and president of New Hope Pet Rescue, called to say they were gearing up for a 38-hour roundtrip to "clear" the Tift County shelter of its dogs .
"It took a minute to comprehend what she just said; did she say clear our shelter ?" Robbins and Hernandez say.

Four volunteers with the New Hope group in Michigan appeared in Tifton and took 72 dogs. "And not just small dogs or puppies, not necessarily what are considered 'easy' dogs, but big dogs, bulldog mixes and ones that have been waiting for a very long time," Robbins and Hernandez say.

Although the Michigan group focuses on dog rescue , they saw the 68 cats in need at the Tifton shelter and were able to take 17 cats with them as well.

"It was quite an undertaking ," New Hope's Denise Rose tells the Tifton Grapevine . She says it was the largest rescue her nonprofit volunteer organization has ever done. The previous record was 35 dogs at a time.

Rose says they took all the dogs because "we knew if we left anybody behind , they probably wouldn't make it" out of the storm and its aftermath. "We didn't want to decide which ones were going to live or die ."

She says the animals are in Michigan being vetted, spayed and neutered , and micro-chipped to get ready for adoption . Twenty-two of the Tifton dogs have been found to have heart worms .
"They are so sweet ," Rose says. "We've got some really great dogs . We hope we can get them all taken care of ."

"These amazing people came when we needed them most ," the Tifton volunteers say about the New Hope Pet Rescue group. "There is nothing in the world like watching a van and trailer pull out of the parking lot with 89 lives saved . The feeling of emotion is overwhelming and indescribable ."

As Hurricane Michael aimed at Southwest Georgia , folks at the Tifton animal shelter were initially "lost without hope," but then "New Hope" was on the horizon .

"We are beyond thankful to have experienced this," the Tifton volunteers say.
Gov. Nathan Deal today notified House Speaker David Ralston and Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle that he plans to call for a special legislative session of the General Assembly to convene on Tuesday, Nov. 13 .

Georgia was severely impacted by Hurricane Michael , and many communities across our state sustained heavy financial losses . In response, I will ask the General Assembly to take immediate action and lead the way in spurring rapid economic recovery for Southwest Georgia communities," said Deal.

" Our state budget also needs to be amended to ensure that we adequately cover our obligations. I hope to work quickly with the General Assembly in the coming days to provide support to the Georgia communities that need it most.”

The regular session of the 2018 General Assembly adjourned March 29 . The state constitution gives a governor the authority to convene a special session .
With more than 35,000 property-related insurance claims expected, Georgia Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens estimates $250 million in insured property losses for Hurricane Michael .
“Our preliminary estimate today is $ 250 million in damage across Georgia . That figure may likely rise as new claims are submitted,” Hudgens said.

The estimate does not include insured crop losses .

Consumers with damage from Hurricane Michael should take the following steps during the claims-filing process:

  • Work with your insurance company. Ask what documents, forms, and data you will need to file a claim. Keep a diary of all conversations with insurance companies, creditors or relief agencies.
  • Maintain any damaged personal property for the adjuster to inspect.
  • Ask the adjuster for an itemized explanation of the claim settlement offer.
  • Be wary of contractors who demand upfront payment before work is initiated or payment in full before work is completed. If the contractor needs payment to buy supplies, go with the contractor and pay the supplier directly.
  • Get more than one bid. Ask for at least three references. Check with the Better Business Bureau about the contractor. Ask for proof of necessary licenses, building permits, insurance, and bonding. Record the license plate number and driver’s license number of the contractor.
  • If there is a disagreement about a claim, ask the company for the specific language in the policy in question and determine why you and the company interpret your policy differently.
  • If the first offer made by an insurance company does not meet your expectations, be prepared to negotiate to get a fair settlement.

If you believe you have treated unfairly in getting a claim paid, call the insurance commissioner's office at 1-800-656-2298 . Phone lines are open from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. , Monday through Friday .
An art show featuring Adjunct Professor Jordan Walker will be 4-6:30 p.m. Oct. 30 in the Bowen Hall Art Gallery at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College .

Dr. Susan Kirby Roe , head of the ABAC Department of Fine Arts, said the community is invited to attend the show and hear remarks from Walker at 5 p.m.   Refreshments will be provided.

A native of Ellaville , Walker graduated from Schley County High School before receiving his bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Georgia Southwestern University . He earned his master’s degree in fine arts from Long Island University .  

An artist and an illustrator with a taste for old literature and a flair for the dramatic, Walker and his paintings have been featured in group exhibitions in New York City and Chicago .
V oters continue to turnout during the early voting period in Tift County ; as of the end of the day Tuesday , a total of 3,323 Tift countians have cast ballots for the Nov. 6 general election.

In addition, requests for absentee ballots have increased as well. The Tift County Board of Elections has mailed 581 absentee ballots and has received 238 back as of Tuesday .

"People seem to be really interested in this election," says Leila E. Dollison,  Tift election supervisor. "It has truly been an exciting and extremely busy time here."

Early voting ends  Nov. 2  . The  Nov. 6  general election features the race for  governor  between Democrat  Stacey Abrams  and Republican  Brian Kemp.
The Turnwold Buggy from the Joel Chandler Harris era upon its arrival at the local museum prior to restoration.


An historic buggy exhibit with ties to Georgia author Joel Chandler Harris opens at 1 p.m. Nov. 3 at ABAC's Ga. Museum of Agriculture and Historic Village .

Melissa Swindell , executive director of The Wren’s Nest in Atlanta , will lecture on the author and his life at the exhibit opening .

Harris’ widow, Esther LaRose Harris , gave their home, The Wren’s Nest , to the Uncle Remus Memorial Association in 1913 . It has been a treasured Atlanta landmark and a national memorial to Harris ever since.  Linda Harris , the great-great granddaughter of Harris, will join Swindell and assist with the lecture .

Peter Myzuka , an artist from Madison , worked with Museum Curator Polly Huff in the development of photos of the remnants of the Turnwold Plantation near Eatonton , the original home of the buggy . The photos create the core of the exhibit’s backdrop. 

Another highlight of the exhibit opening will be a performance of Harris’ B'rer Rabbit stories by one of The Wren’s Nest storytellers ABAC Dining and the Wiregrass Farmers Market will provide an opening reception with a Southern flair.

 Sixty-five voices will align in harmony  Nov. 1 when the Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College Concert Choir presents its fall concert .

Dr. Susan Kirby Roe , head of the Department of Fine Arts and conductor for the event, said the concert begins at 7 p.m. in Howard Auditorium on the ABAC campus. It is open to the public at no charge.

“We always look forward to this concert because it involves so many of our students who have worked extremely hard over the past several months,” Roe said. 

Selections from the Concert Choir will include “Grant Us Thy Peace,” “Flight Song,” “The Road Home,” and “Unclouded Day.”  Alexandria Branch will be the featured soloist on “The Road Home.”

The ABAC Chamber Singers will be featured in “What Sweeter Music,” and the ABAC Singers will be spotlighted in “There is Faint Music.”  Sydney Thomas will be the soloist for the ABAC Singers.

Dr. Zheng Jennifer Huang , one of ABAC’s newest faculty members, will be the accompanist for the evening. Huang has performed numerous recitals and concerts as a pianist and harpsichordist in Asia, Europe and the United States . She received second place in the 1996 Hong Kong Open Piano Competition for Asian Musicians and has performed at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center .
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An annual Title I parent meeting , "Brag on Blue," will be held at 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 29 , in the Commons at Tift County High School .

Students and faculty members will present examples of their work and their recent projects . Refreshments will be available.

Colony Bank , headquartered in Fitzgerald , has completed the purchase of the Albany branch of Planters First Bank on North Westover Boulevard

The transaction also includes a vacant lot at the corner of Pointe North Boulevard and Old Dawson Road in Albany on which Colony expects to build a branch during 2019 .
The branch purchase is expected to result in the transfer of approximately $22 million in loans and $12 million in deposits.

The Tifton Grapevine is now publishing yard sales in Friday editions . The yard sales will be text only, no photos , and is part of a list linked from the Grapevine edition to our web page .

The cost is $1 per word , and yard sales must be paid in advance via credit card or PayPal .

For information , email yardsales@tiftongrapevine.com
Tifton Grapevine
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